Starting to get fed up of all the Nerello talk on Wine Virtuosity? Well, I can’t get enough of it. Haven’t felt this excited for a grape and style of wine for years. This is simply my Nebbiolo!
High altitude cultivation, warm days with direct sunlight and then chilly nights. That’s a good start. Add the unique volcanic soil, the perfumed Nerello grapes and old vines and it gets even better. Pop a bottle, chill it slightly and set the table. Oh yes, you need Burgundy glasses. Serve a home-baked pizza topped with Pecorino. That’s it. Succumb to Nerello!
Marc de Grazia’s Tenuta delle Terre Nere was one of the first to realize the true potential of Nerello and he was also a pioneer when it came to single vineyard bottlings. As always with great producers, you get a hint what to expect from the high-end wines when the entry wine is just deeelicious. These guys know their stuff…
The 2009 Etna Rosso is such a wine. Pure drinking pleasure. It doesn’t need more than an hour to open up and offer you perfumed notes, cherries, lingonberries, fudge, lead pencil, wet rocks and a hint of sweet-root. High-altitude scents written all over it.
Then there’s the taste. Think easy-drinking Beaujolais, think lighter-styled Nebbiolo. Add 600-900 meters to the topography and you have the Nerello taste! Red, slightly sour cherries, lingonberries, mineral, plenty of them, balancing acidity and a delicate tannin structure. Pure cool fruit and fine length.
Will probably evolve but not in my possession. Why wait when it’s so good already? Together with a home-baked pizza it’s a great match. The cheese, the onions, mushrooms and bacon reminds me that wine and food pairing is not rocket science. It’s just fun!